EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

April 22, 2014

Sox-Yankees: Lester's dominance has carried over from playoffs

SOX: Rookie Tanaka got megabucks while Lester still waiting for his

BOSTON — Jacoby Ellsbury will return to Fenway Park today for the first time since signing a seven-year, $153-million contract with the New York Yankees, but the Ellsbury storyline could easily become overshadowed by the starting pitching matchup.

Red Sox ace Jon Lester starts against Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka, who has gone 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA, 28 strikeouts and just two walks in his first three major league starts.

It will be Tanaka’s first ever outing against Boston — and the game has all the makings of a classic Sox/Yanks showdown.

While Ellsbury and Tanaka (seven years, $155 million) are living high after raking in the dough this past offseason, Lester, who is scheduled to hit the free agent market this coming offseason, is in the midst of making an airtight case for his own gigantic pay day.

Instead of publicly venting his frustration over the Red Sox’ recent low ball offer (a reported four years, $70 million), the Red Sox southpaw has chosen to keep his mouth shut and let his pitching talk for him. He has a 2.17 ERA in four starts. He most recently out-dueled White Sox ace Chris Sale last week, allowing just one run while striking out nine and walking nobody over 8.0 innings.

David Ross, who caught that gem in Chicago, said he sees the same intense, focused and dominant Lester so far this regular season that he saw last postseason when the lefty went 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts and led the Red Sox to a World Series title.

Last year’s postseason heroics came on the heels of a dominant second half (7-2, 2.57 ERA, 13 starts).

“In this game, confidence is a big thing,” Ross said. “And when you get your confidence, you don’t press as much. You’re able to relax and just be who you are. I think the second half last year along with the playoffs, just gave him (that confidence) after having a bad year two years ago.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Goodell backs Rice ban Andre Reed reflects on Hall of Fame Man with no arms throws first pitch Wade supports LeBron's decision Steelers feeling a sense of urgency in camp 5 things I think I think about the Atlanta Falcons Paul Breitner: We're sure Julian Green will be a great player for Bayern Reaction to Ray Rice's comments How the MLB Trade Deadline Will Affect the Postseason Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Marshawn Lynch Ends Holdout - @TheBuzzeronFOX Dombrowski on bringing David Price to Detroit Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX
Boston Sports
Goodell backs Rice ban Andre Reed reflects on Hall of Fame Man with no arms throws first pitch Wade supports LeBron's decision Reaction to Ray Rice's comments How the MLB Trade Deadline Will Affect the Postseason Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Marshawn Lynch Ends Holdout - @TheBuzzeronFOX Dombrowski on bringing David Price to Detroit A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Red Sox Fans React To Jon Lester Rumors Red Sox Fans Sad About Prospect Of Possible Jon Lester Trade Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Pedroia on Lester: ‘It would be tough to see him in another uniform’ Farrell announces Workman will start in place of Lester Gasper vs Tanguay: Is Lester to blame for current situation? Mike Carp speaks out on wanting to leave the Red Sox Shaughnessy: Sox fans deserve to be mad if Sox trade Lester Ty Law: Revis may get Pats ‘over hump’ Ortiz fires back at Tampa Bay Ray’s Chris Archer